A New Generation Of Dreamers
Brittany is part of the youngest generation of people that are making the world a better place, but, aside from that, she is also living proof that age does not prevent one from achieving something great. Her success and accomplishments greatly inspire today’s youth to believe that they are sure to achieve something when they set their heart to it, no matter how difficult it may appear to be.
How Brittany’s Work Will Affect The World
Brittany’s inventions, when they are set to be distributed to hospitals all over the world, will assist greatly in the treatment of very serious diseases such as breast cancer and leukaemia. By utilizing the vast potential offered by computers and the internet, Brittany has introduced a brand-new system of medical examinations that will not only help detect diseases earlier, but also be more affordable and efficient to both surgeons and patients.
Inspired And Passionate
Having witnessed the terrible effects of diseases such as breast cancer and leukaemia in her own family, Brittany has dedicated her life and career to fighting these diseases by helping people detect them early on, long before they can inflict serious damage to their victims. And, while the technology she has introduced is still in its early stages, Brittany’s passion for fighting these diseases is sufficient to ensure that she will always find ways to improve her software. So far, her program, which is known to everyone as “Cloud4Cancer”, is the most promising method of biopsy to date.
As Brittany stated in an interview:
“I taught the computer how to diagnose breast cancer... And this is really important because currently the least invasive form of biopsy is actually the least conclusive, so a lot of doctors can’t use them.”
When It All Began: Brittany’s Childhood
Brittany Wenger’s extraordinary life began in 1994 in the city of Columbus, Ohio. The daughter of two working parents whose jobs were enough to provide a comfortable living, Brittany grew up with not only the love and care of her parents, but the convenient middle-class suburban life. They were not rich, but they had enough to take care of their needs and enough left over to spend on other things.
Brittany’s parents played a great role in her life, as they were the ones who constantly encouraged the young girl never to settle for a mediocre life. For as long as she can remember, Brittany’s parents have spoken to her about the greatness inside of her and how, one day, she would bring something amazing to the world. The inspiration Brittany received from her parents certainly shaped her into the optimistic and passionate woman that the world would come to know.
As A Student: Brittany’s Amazing Scholastic Performance
During her primary years in school, Brittany was known as one of the best, not just in academics, but in an all-around way. Having an outgoing and optimistic personality served Brittany well as she made many friends and became quite popular at school. She did very well in her subjects, earning high marks in most of them – if not all. Early on, Brittany found particular interest in science and technology, both subjects in which she excelled.
In a later interview with Brittany, she explained her love for science and technology in this statement:
“I’ve always felt empowered to pursue science. I had a lot of strong female role models. For example, my computer science teacher in high school was a woman. I was really lucky to grow up in that sort of environment.”
Her First Encounter With A.I.
Before graduating from elementary studies, Brittany was introduced to the concept of artificial intelligence while doing research for her term paper. What she found kept her glued to her seat in front of the computer for hours and, not long after, Brittany found herself immersed in textbooks and the study of artificial intelligence. Eventually, she was able to “teach” her computer to play soccer. As she recalled in an interview:
“I had to write a final term paper on any aspect of the future, so I decided that I would write about technologies of the future. I Googled things that may happen fifty, a hundred years from now, and I came across the concept of artificial intelligence. I was just enamoured by it. I went home, I bought a coding textbook, and started teaching myself how to code. Later on, I built an artificial intelligence program that learned to play soccer. I worked on that for three years.”
Brittany fell in love with programming artificial intelligence computers without realizing how far it would eventually take her. As she entered her high school years, Brittany consistently excelled in her studies, which greatly impressed her professors.
The Disease That Started It All: Brittany And Her Cousin’s Breast Cancer
Initially, Brittany’s work on programming artificial intelligence circled around many different things, including her soccer game. But, during her sophomore year, things got serious after learning her cousin had become a victim of breast cancer. While listening to her cousin explain the difficulty of the examination processes, something lit up inside Brittany – what if she could use artificial intelligence to help in the diagnostic processes?
Brittany later recalled the events in an interview:
“When my cousin got breast cancer, she was telling me about how difficult the diagnostic process was. I researched and found out about fine needle aspirates, which are the least invasive, quickest and cheapest diagnostic procedures that a woman can have. Right now, they’re wildly inconclusive, so a lot of doctors refuse to use them. Only about five hospitals in the United States still use the procedure. I was really interested in trying to revive them, and when I found out that the major problem was how difficult the patterns were for pathologists to diagnose, I wanted to create a tool to aid the doctors.”
Cloud4Cancer: The product Of Brittany’s Desire To Help Cancer Patients worldwide
Well aware of the suffering her cousin was going through, Brittany spent months upon months researching and developing a program that would be able to detect breast cancer in its early stages. In 2012, that research came into fruition with the release of the “Global Neural Network Cloud Service for Breast Cancer” - more popularly known as “Cloud4Cancer” - Brittany’s A.I. program designed to detect breast cancer.
The concept was simple: Brittany programmed Cloud4Cancer to observe patterns in a person’s cellular structure to determine whether the person has cancer. In an interview conducted sometime after releasing her invention, Brittany explained the basics of the Cloud4Cancer program:
“Based on cell morphology, which is how the cells look, the program will look for patterns and try to determine whether a person has cancer or not. For example, multi-layered cells are an indicator that a person may have cancer. It’s a little more complicated than that, though, because masses will exhibit both characteristics of non-cancerous masses and cancerous masses, even though clearly one mass can only be cancer or not cancer.”
Success and rising popularity
It did not take long for Brittany’s invention to catch national attention. That same year , when she entered the Google Science Fair, Brittany won first prize for her project and was invited to showcase her invention at the White House Science Fair, where she spoke personally with President Barack Obama about her invention. In an interview, Brittany shared her experience with the President:
“He had an intense look of concentration on his face, showing me he really cared about my research, and he said something along the lines of that he was really proud of me. This is the President of the country saying that, so I was really taken aback. I’ll always really treasure those words. And this was also the first election I got to vote in, so I think it made it even more special.”
Further developments and improvements
In 2013, Brittany developed her project further to read signs of leukaemia. And, although the program remains in its early stages, Brittany gained such overwhelming support that several doctors have invited her to conduct beta testing for further development of the software. When asked in an interview about what has happened since she released Cloud4Cancer, Brittany simply answered:
“So much. I think one of the most exciting things that’s happened is doctors have really started taking my research seriously. I’m beta-testing the breast cancer program with two hospitals, which has been incredible.”
Brittany is currently a student at Duke University, where she is continuing her studies in engineering and technology. While she knows her A.I. software still has a long way to go, she is never discouraged from conducting new research to develop the program, knowing the impact it will certainly have on millions of lives that are affected by diseases like breast cancer and leukemia.
Because of Brittany Wenger’s remarkable passion for science, she created something that will greatly benefit the world for years to come. She is an amazing inspiration for all teenagers to find their interests and put their passion and effort into bringing their dreams into reality. She certainly deserves our support and gratitude as a truly remarkable scientist who will change the way we perform medical examinations in the future.
- Global Neural Network Cloud Service for Breast Cancer
Organizations and Programmes Supported
Awards and Achievements
- 2012: Won the Google Science Fair
- 2012: Included in the 30 People Under 30 Changing the World by TIME Magazine
- 2012: Included in the “30 Under 30” list by Forbes Magazine
- 2013: Received the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair Award for Computer-Science
- 2013: Received the IEEE Computer Society Award
- 2013: Received the Data Award from GoDaddy
- 2013: Received the Google CS Connect Award
Fox News (17-year-old programs artificial 'brain' to diagnose breast cancer)
TEDx Women (Brittany Wenger)
Mashable (Teen Develops Computer Algorithm to Diagnose Leukemia)
TED (This college freshman is a cancer detective: A Q&A with Brittany Wenger)